Comment Period Open for New USPSTF Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations
Annual screening recommended for patients between the ages of 50 to 80 who have a 20 pack-year smoking history
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services public comment period is open for the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation for annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). The public comment period will close on Thursday, June 17.
The USPSTF recommends annual lung cancer screening with LDCT in adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.
RSNA applauds this change, which has potential to mitigate racial disparities in screening eligibility. The new guidelines would expand the relative screening eligibility by 87% overall, including 107% in non-Hispanic Black adults and 112% in Hispanic adults, according to the USPSTF statement. Additionally, the relative percentage of women eligible for screening would increase by 96%.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. In 2020, an estimated 228,820 persons were diagnosed with lung cancer, and 135,720 persons died of the disease.
The most important risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. Increasing age is also a risk factor for lung cancer. Lung cancer has a generally poor prognosis, with an overall 5-year survival rate of 20.5%. However, early-stage lung cancer has a better prognosis and is more amenable to treatment.
The updated recommendation replaces the 2013 USPSTF statement that recommended annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
For More Information
Learn more about the lung cancer screening recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Read the RSNA News story on the USPSTF recommendation.